After a pandemic-riddled draft process in 2020 that forced the cancelation of the combine entirely and pushed the draft back all the way to November, the NBA is returning the entire process closer to its normal summer schedule in 2021. Earlier this year, the NBA officially announced the dates for the 2021 Draft, the draft combine, and the draft lottery, and specific details continue to emerge.
The lottery will take place on June 22, which will fall right in the heart of combine week which is scheduled for June 21-27. The combine will take place in person in Chicago at Wintrust Arena and Marriott Marquis, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The combine will consist of team interviews, five-on-five games, drills, measurements, and medicals. Teams will be allowed to have 10 personnel members attend the on-court portion of the combine while six total members of the organization will be allowed to attend the in-person interviews.
The 2021 NBA Draft will be held just over a month later on July 29 -- a week after the conclusion of the NBA playoffs. The league announced that the first round of the draft will be televised by both ESPN and ABC, while the second round will air only on ESPN.
The deadline for an early entry player to apply for this year's NBA Draft is Sunday, May 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The deadline for an early entry player to withdraw from the NBA Draft is Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. ET. Lastly, free agency is set to begin on Aug. 6, while teams will be able to begin negotiating with free agents on Aug. 2. The start date for the 2021-22 NBA season hasn't yet been announced.